Storms heading for southern British Columbia could worsen flooding and mudslide conditions.
“Climate change is here and I think what we saw this past weekend is obviously a result of that,” Deputy Premier Mike Farnworth said. “We know that climate change is upon us. We know that there are more and more of these events happening.”
The province is still recovering from its last atmospheric river with several communities still flooded. Last week’s flooding resulted in entire communities evacuating and hundreds stranded on highways.
Now Environment and Climate Change Canada warn that two more atmospheric rivers are heading for South Coast.
Atmospheric rivers bring intense amounts of rainfall over a short period of time. Last week some areas saw a month’s worth of rain in less than 48 hours.
The storms are expected to arrive on Thursday and Saturday and will likely be as severe as last week.
“We’re not looking at necessarily the same copious amounts (of rain) as we saw two weekends ago, but we are looking at a very strong signal throughout the weekend, and through next week we continue to have active storms,” said Armel Castellan, warning preparedness meteorologist with Environment Canada.
Castellan cautioned that already saturated hills are at a greater risk of mudslides and valley floods due to water running downhill.
Last week, Fraser Valley saw river surges that washed away parts of Highway 1. This week snowfall warnings have been issued for the area which could bring 40 to 70 millimeters according to Castellan.